The minister of state for Defence, Erelu, Olusola Obada, has handed-over anall-time high sum of N40m to the Nigerian Legion and urged the ex-servicemen to "spend prudently and invest in worthy causes for the benefit of the widows, veterans and dependants," of the ex-servicemen all over the country.
Obada was speaking yesterday at the Ministry of Defence, Abuja, during the public presentation of the year 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day donations to the members of the Nigerian Legion.
The minister said the money is the total sum realised so far from the donations and pledges from Nigerians and foreign embassies during the 2013 Remembrance Day Emblem Launch and it is the first tranche meant for the good cause of the Nigerian Legion. "Some pledges were redeemed while others are still being awaited...we are going to hand over every accrual to the coffers of the Nigerian Legion, so they can continue their humanitarian services, to enable easy transition to civilian life."
She praised President Goodluck Jonathan for his concern over the welfare of the serving and ex-servicemen of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The national president of the legion, Col. Micah Gayya (rtd.), while receiving the donation, also thanked the president, the minister, donors and the press for their commitment to the success of the launch which culminated in the unprecedented donations realised. He promised that the fund will be judiciously used through the legion's main programmes which include widows' empowerment and scholarship scheme for the children of the needy ex-servicemen.
He also said that the leadership of the association has a dream to "take it to a higher level to a point where we will not go begging, "Gayya said they will invest some part of the money in return for profit saying, "It will be stupid of us to disburse every kobo only to start all-over next time."